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Dublin: 3 °C Wednesday 11 December, 2019

Arsenal youngster sees red as Ireland U19s suffer late heartbreak

Switzerland came from behind to get the better of Tom Mohan’s side in this afternoon’s opening Euro qualifier.

The Ireland team before today's game.
The Ireland team before today's game.
Image: FAI

AFTER GUIDING A depleted side to the semi-finals of the European Championships in July, Tom Mohan began another qualifying campaign as Republic of Ireland U19 manager today in Salzburg.

However, the Irish bid to secure a place at next year’s tournament in Northern Ireland started with a disappointing loss to Switzerland in a game that was deferred from yesterday due to heavy snow.

Mohan’s side had taken an early lead through their captain, Newcastle United defender Oisin McEntee, only for Switzerland to snatch the victory with two second-half goals.

Ireland’s cause was hindered by the dismissal of Arsenal defender Mazeed Ogungbo, whose second yellow card forced the Boys in Green to play the final 25 minutes with 10 men.

There were less than two minutes on the clock when McEntee got his head to a cross from Celtic’s Armstrong Oko-Flex to put Ireland into the lead.

In their search for an equaliser, Switzerland were eventually rewarded in the 57th minute when Basel striker Julian Vonmoos finished off a sweeping counter attack.

Ogungbo, who only turned 17 last month, received his marching orders in the 65th minute. The Swiss winner arrived with only 11 minutes remaining courtesy of Brighton’s Lorent Tolaj, who fired home a rebound just moments after coming off the bench.

Basel goalkeeper Nils de Mol had to make crucial saves to deny Oko-Flex and Thomas Cannon of Everton as Ireland tried, but ultimately failed, to salvage something from the game. 

Ireland’s next assignment in Group 10 is a game on Saturday against a Gibraltar side who were beaten 14-0 today by Austria. This phase of qualification will conclude for Ireland against the Austrians on Tuesday.

The top two sides in the four-team group will be guaranteed a place in the elite round of the qualifiers, although a third-place finish may also be enough. 

Ireland: Corcoran; Ebosele, Ogungbo, McGuinness, McEntee; O’Reilly, Everitt (Gilbert 46), Coffey, Noss (Cannon 86), Oko-Flex (Richards 67); Cassidy (Wright 86).

Switzerland: De Mol; Frei, Mistrafovic, Stergiou, Omeragic; Sohm (Cuemi 90+1), Males (Vasic 65), Jankewitz; Vonmoos (Bunjaku 90+1), Azevedo, Mambimbi (Tolaj 74).

Referee: Kirill Levnikov (Russia). 

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